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20 Comments

I don’t want to ruin your day, but as a parent, it’s our responsibility to make sure our children are looked after in your will. Nobody thinks about dying before their kids, but it does happen.

There is a common belief amongst young parents that only the wealthy or those with a large amount of assets require a Will, or it is something they will put in place when they purchase a house or when they reach retirement age.  However, in my opinion, making a will is something every parent should put in place. Don’t forget that any life insurance and superannuation policies are also assets that will need to be distributed on your death.

So think about it, who do you want to be responsible for looking after your child’s money?

Today’s families are complex with step parent issues, divorced grandparents and same sex couples so it is important that as a parent, you get to say how your child is raised, how their money is managed, and whom they live with!

If you don’t have a will in place, the following problems may occur:

  • Young children could be taken into care whilst guardians are appointed.
  • Your spouse or civil partner will not automatically inherit ALL of your estate.
  • Common law partners may not receive anything at all.
  • People outside of your immediate family are unlikely to benefit.
  • Lengthy disputes and delays are likely to prevent your beneficiaries from receiving the funds they need to settle your estate and benefit in the way you intend.


So what is a testamentary guardian?

A person appointed by a parent’s Will to be responsible for making long-term care, welfare, and development decisions for their child. When both parents are deceased, the Testamentary Guardian will also be responsible for the child’s daily care and living conditions.

What do I need to do?

You should review your Will and ensure you appoint a guardian under the terms of your Will if you have children under 18 or plan to start a family in the future.

You should also consider the establishment of testamentary trusts under the terms of your Will and ensure you have adequate assets to provide for your children until they can begin to provide for themselves. This may involve contacting your financial advisor to arrange life insurance to cover any shortfall.

It is important that you consider the welfare of your children when preparing a Will. What is in their best interests rather than pleasing
family members.  

Nobody likes to think about dying however preparing a Will ensures that your children are cared for, even if you are not around, surely that is the best reason to consider drafting a Will today! 

  • Thanks for the reminder, so important.

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  • My will is done, signed and updated. My mother in law died 10 years ago and her estate still isn’t finalised because her will wasn’t clear


    • wow that is such a long time, wow 10years

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  • Really important info to consider to make sure that your kids best interest and your wishes are followed through on

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  • I have kept putting this off but you have scared me with that point that they May be put in care while guardians are appointed.

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  • thanks for the advise.

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  • I just brought a will kit online for less than $10. If your affairs are simple -There is really no excuse not to have one

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  • Wow, this article has given me a lot more information about making a will than I had known previously. I thought it was a simple matter of who gets what. Time to start doing some research I think!

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  • I have a will that I did after I separated from my husband, it is now 5 yrs since I did it. Not doing a new one at the moment cause my family knows what I want.

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  • We have a will but we haven’t updated it for some time. Must go on the to do list!

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  • This IS a must do. Something we all must make time for.

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  • My husband and I both have a will that seriously needs updating now our son is older. It’s on the To Do list. I’ve even had them sitting in a central place as a reminder. We just now need to find a best legal person to update them.

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  • A timely reminder, thankyou. We have been going to update our wills for a few years now and just keep putting it off. We included a clause to include “any other future children we may have”, but now they are here and growing, we have changed our decision on guardianship of the children if the worst should happen. I know we have let our plans be known verbally but we need to get it on paper to save any drama. We also want to investigate a living power of attorney. I know its not a nice topic, but it is so essential for parents to remember. I appreciate your article, thankyou.

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  • It is also important to remember that divorce does not change your will either. And with property “Joint tenant” means if you die the other joint asset holder automatically receives your share. “Tenant in common” means if you die your half share will pass according to your will.

    I had one client whose father remarried in his late 60\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s after the sudden death of the mother to a person in their late 40\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s with 4 other children. One his death the wife inherited all of the estate and then made no provision in her will for the step children.

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  • Everyone (both parents) should each have a will and review it every so often as things change in your life or you move, change partners or have other children.

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  • If you don’t make a will there is a possibility the Govt. will decide who gets what – even the contents which may not be worth much but are of great sentimental value. You not only need a will, you should do a Power of Attorney giving somebody access to your bank Account to pay bills if you have an accident or become ill and are unable to do so. You should also give the bank details of your arrangement. You may be required by the Bank to fill out and sign the appropriate paperwork. You should also state in a legal document who is to have custody of any children/teenagers until they are old enough to be responsible and independent in the event of your death or inability to care for them for nay reason. Another thing to think seriously about and put in a document if you choose to do so, is you may not want to be kept alive by ventilator etc or kept alive if there is no chance of any reasonable quality of life – that you want to die with dignity and be at peace, that you don’t want to linger on suffering, and traumatise your loved ones for nothing. I know for a fact that a patient may appear to be in a deep sleep but when they are in pain they still feel it and fidget around before they wake up in agony. I have personally witnessed it.
    We had to wait for 2 staff to be available to sign the paperwork before prescribed strong pain relief could be given to her. Until they are actually unconscious they can also hear what is being said to or about them.


    • Thanks so much for your comment,
      There is some very good solid points that you make there :).

      I remember when my mum died things were so stressful and full on that i was so pleased to find out my mum had a WILL in place etc.

      Many Thanks for your detailed response. I’m going to copy and paste it for future reference

    Reply

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